[Federal Register: August 10, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 153)]
[Page 48359-48360]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2010-N140; 30120-1113-0000-F6]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Indiana Bat; 
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on a 
Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposed Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP) and Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for the 
Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) at a wind power project in Adair, 
Sullivan, and Putnam Counties, Missouri (Project). Construction and 
operation of the Project has the potential to cause the take of Indiana 
bat, an endangered species, protected by the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA). We provide this notice to advise other agencies, tribes, and the 
public of our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on 
the scope of review under NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), as 
well as issues to consider during the planning process.

DATES: We will consider comments we receive on or before September 9, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Ms. Jane Ledwin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 101 Park DeVille Drive, Suite A, Columbia, MO 65203.
    E-mail: jane_ledwin@fws.gov.
    Facsimile: (573) 234-2181 (Attention: Jane Ledwin).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Jane Ledwin, (573) 234-2132. 
Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the 
Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8337 for TTY assistance.


Public Comments

    We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this 
notice. We will consider all comments we receive in complying with the 
requirements of NEPA and in the development of an HCP, NEPA document, 
and potential ITP.
    You may submit your comments and materials considering this notice 
by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we use in preparing the NEPA document, will be available 
for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Missouri Field 
    You may obtain copies of this notice by mail from the Ecological 
Services Missouri Field Office, or on the Internet at: http://


    The Indiana Bat was added to the list of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and Plants on March 11, 1967 (32 FR 4001). It is currently 
listed as an endangered species under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
The population has declined as a result of pesticides, agricultural 
development, and loss of forest habitat affecting the summer range. 
Impacts to caves used for hibernation have also contributed to 
population declines. White-nose syndrome (Geomyces destructans), a 
fungus causing infected bats to rouse from hibernation early and 
attempt to hunt for food, is now believed to be a cause of death in 
Indiana bats.
    The range of the Indiana bat extends from eastern Vermont, western 
Oklahoma, southern Wisconsin, and northern Florida. Indiana bats 
migrate between their summer forested ranges and winter hibernacula, 
which typically are climatically stable caves and mines. During summer 
months, they forage for insects along streams, in riparian forests and 
floodplains, and in upland forests and low open areas. Males roost 
individually or in small groups throughout the range, preferring areas 
near hibernacula. Females, forming larger maternity colonies of 50 to 
100, roost in dead or dying trees or living trees with broken and 
flaking bark.
    There are no known hibernacula in the Project area or nearby. 
However, maternity roosts and maternity colonies have been identified 
proximate to and within the Project area. The Service and the Applicant 
have determined that the development and operation of the Project, in 
proximity to summer maternity colonies and spring and fall migratory 
flight paths, may affect the Indiana bat and their habitat, possibly 
resulting in the involuntary take of Indiana bats.
    Shuteye, LLC continues to develop an HCP and plans to request 
issuance of an

[[Page 48360]]

ITP from the Service. The HCP will include the following: (1) 
Conservation measures for siting and constructing the Project, (2) 
postconstruction monitoring to gather data regarding the impact of the 
first phase on local Indiana bats; and (3) an Adaptive Management Plan 
to ensure appropriate procedures are in place which adequately modify 
operations to minimize and mitigate the effects the Project may have on 
the Indiana bat.
    The Project will encompass portions of Adair, Sullivan, and Putnam 
Counties, Missouri, near the towns of Greencastle and Green City. It 
will directly affect 240 acres, or 0.7 percent of approximately 36,757 
acres of privately leased rural land. This area is an agricultural 
landscape composed predominately of pasture land, with some cultivated 
cropland and isolated areas of deciduous forest scattered throughout.
    The Project will provide as much as 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable 
energy from as many as 200 1.5-MW wind energy turbines and the related 
facilities (access roads, collection lines, operation and maintenance 
facilities (O&M), substations, and a transmission line). The Project 
will be constructed in two phases. Phase I involves up to 200 MWs of 
renewable energy and includes a 16-mile transmission line extending 
from the Project area east to a substation located southwest of the 
city of Kirksville, Missouri.
    Phase II consists of the balance of the Project and will not be 
developed until at least 1 full year of postconstruction data is 
obtained, and the Applicant and the Service have agreed that all 
reasonable measures have been taken to minimize and mitigate harm to 
the Indiana bat. This information will be used to determine whether 
adaptive management is required and to assist in the design and 
operation of Phase II of the Project.
    Turbine installation will temporarily impact a 125-to-150-foot 
radius surrounding a turbine, with the final footprint limited to a 25-
foot radius from the turbine center. The rotor diameter of each turbine 
will be approximately 82.5 meters (271 feet), with the hub height 
expected to be at either 80 or 100 m. Assuming a 100-m hub height, the 
maximum height of each turbine will be 141.25 m (463 feet (ft)) when 
the rotor blade is at the top of its rotation.
    Access roads during construction will be within a 50-ft right-of-
way (ROW) and will be used for moving construction equipment among the 
turbine locations. The access roads will be reduced to 15 feet after 
construction and will be used for Project maintenance.
    Collection lines, used to transfer power from the turbines to the 
substations, will be buried underground and will not disturb the 
landscape after construction is completed. A transmission line will be 
constructed within a 150-ft-wide ROW. Wood H-frames, varying from 60 to 
115 ft in height and spaced from 600 to 700 ft apart, will be used to 
support the transmission line. The Project may have up to four 
substations and two O&M facilities.

Environmental Review

    The purpose of the public scoping process is to identify relevant 
issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, 
including alternatives, and guide the process for developing the EIS. 
In addition to the Indiana bat, the Service has identified the 
following preliminary issues: Nonavian wildlife, avian wildlife and 
bats, topography, geology and soils, water and wetlands resources, air 
quality, vegetation and land use, and cultural resources.


    We furnish this notice under NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1501.7 and 
1508.22). The intent of this notice is to enable us to obtain 
suggestions and additional information from other agencies and the 
public on the scope of issues to be considered.

    Dated: July 26, 2010.
Tom Melius,
Regional Director, Region 3, Fort Snelling, MN.
[FR Doc. 2010-19721 Filed 8-9-10; 8:45 am]